Border Patrol sees jump in fentanyl trafficking

Border Report

(NewsNation) — New drug seizures along the U.S.-Mexico border include fentanyl and opioids that are up to 100 times more powerful than morphine.

More than 3.5 million fentanyl pills were seized in Arizona alone in just August. That is enough fentanyl to kill nearly every single person living in the state of Connecticut.

According to U.S. Customs and Bored Protection (CBP), $4.3 million worth of fentanyl pills were seized last Wednesday in the Tucson sector near Gila Bend, Arizona, during a vehicle stop.

“I am grateful for the incredible work by Border Patrol agents to keep drugs off our streets,” said Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone. “Their efforts will save lives and promote safety.”

12,000 fentanyl pills that look like candy were also seized by law enforcement, but the pills’ colorful appearance is prompting law enforcement to believe the drugs are now targeting a younger crowd.

The majority of fentanyl seized is coming in through Nogales, Arizona, which is located in the Tucson sector of the border. Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb said the seizures likely aren’t impacting the cartel operations at all.

“I’d like to tell you it’s a good thing that we’re catching all these drugs, and it is. It’s a good thing. But it’s only because the cartel is pushing even more drugs into this country,” Lamb said. “It’s probable that they brought in millions of pills that we did not catch, that we did not see, that are now circulating amongst American communities.”

And it’s not just fentanyl that the CBP is finding.

A drug bust in Texas discovered 1,500 pounds of alleged cocaine, worth $11.8 million, in a truck carrying a shipment of baby wipes. In Brownsville, Texas, CBP officers intercepted 9.25 pounds of suspected cocaine, with a street value of $7,100, in a vehicle.

Within two days, 380 pounds of marijuana were discovered by CBP. In one case, a smuggler drove an SUV carrying 220 pounds of marijuana, worth more than $192,000, into the Rio Grande. CBP officers observed the driver and passenger going into Mexico.

According to CBP, Border Patrol agents in the Rio Grande Valley sector of the border have seized more than 29,000 pounds of marijuana this fiscal year alone.

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